The following is a review of a Dio show on the fourth North American leg of Angry Machines tour, originally e-mailed to me.
Subject: London, Ontario Review
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 05:55:59 -0400
I arrived at the Embassy Hotel in London at around 9:00 last night. The marquee out front, which read RONNIE JAMES DIO rather than DIO,told me I was at the right place. Once inside, the most striking feature of the venue itself was how SMALL it was. Small stage, about a foot off the ground, tucked in a dark corner of the bar with dim lighting and low ceilings. Someone who worked there told me the place held up to 500 people, but that number must include the pool room at the back, which has no view of the stage area. All in all, I'd guess there were about 200-300 fans crowded around the tiny stage.
Anyway, after an acceptable local opening act, DIO hit the stage around 11:30. Despite the small venue, the place went absolutely crazy as soon as the band launched into Jesus, Mary, and the Holy Ghost. I won't go through a song by song description, except to say that it was pretty much the same as they have been playing throughout this leg of the tour - most of Holy Diver album, 2 tracks from the new album, 2 Sabbath classics, about four Rainbow beauties (including a beautiful version of Catch the Rainbow), and 2 or 3 other DIO hits.
The Elf himself was in fine form. His voice remains as potent as ever, all the while shaking hands with as many excited fans as he could . It might sound corny, but whether he's playing tiny club like last night, or doing battle with an animatronic dragon before 10,000 fans, Ronnie is a consummate performer, working hard for his fans and seeming to have great time doing so. The level of crowd excitement remained high throughout the almost 2 hour set, and each time Ronnie gave his trademark "sign" to the crowd, he received hundreds back in reply. Despite a few drawbacks (dim lighting, sub par acoustics, Tracy G., etc,) the Man on the Silver Mountain himself made sure everyone got more than their money's worth. I've been telling people for years, but its worth repeating\205 Ronnie James Dio has the best voice in Rock. Period!
Bye the way, I had the opportunity to speak with Ronnie after the show, and he said that while he won't be touring in support of the upcoming live album, the band will be back in the studio by next summer, and then hit the road again for another tour! I'll be there!!!!
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